The Ten Stages are studied recovery.

The Ten Stages are studied recovery.They are a source of reconnection a method of unlearning and a reintroduction to our child within which leads us back to our one true intuitive voice.We start to learn and come out of our protective dysfunctional shell and reclaim our lives. We reconstruct and being to understand our wonder filled journey of discovery as we explore our past lives. The joy of release from our misconceptions, ancient life roads that have caused us dysfunctional behaviours becomes ever more clear to us as we watch our fellow students gently cast off the bondage of the past and move out into our newly found liberation. Childhood fears and ancient coping strategies are cast aside as we realise the baggage we have been carrying our demeanour changes the deeply etched lines of pain leave our faces and once more we shine.For some of us who have known no peace in life this is the first time and we become fearful attempting to scuttle once more into our shadowy past. We scurry back filled with our knowledge and come to realise that the spectres of aloneness,fear and abuse have no place in this our reality

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings, officials said on Saturday. Officers arrested the 40-year-old, whose real name is reportedly Hernan Alonso Villa, in the eastern seaside city of Alicante on Friday, according to a police statement. He is considered ‘the top leader of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado, a Colombian criminal organisation accused of 400 killings as well as drug-trafficking, extorsion and forced displacements of Colombian citizens’, it said. ‘He is one of the criminals most wanted by the Colombian authorities. He had more than 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the United States and Holland,’ the statement said. Spanish officers arrested him under a Colombian extradition warrant for charges including alleged homicide and arms offences. He was carrying 40,000 euros ($54,000) in cash when he was caught, the statement said. Authorities say the ‘Oficina’ gang dates back to the 1980s when it carried out killings for the now-dismantled Medellin Cartel. Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal narcotics into Europe and Colombia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cocaine. Colombia produced 290 tonnes of cocaine in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Scientists Have Discovered Why Marijuana Makes You Paranoid

Your weed-induced paranoia is a real thing.
A new study has found that weed can make actually you paranoid, confirming the findings of investigations dating back to the 1930s, as well as anyone who has ever smoked weed and then ridden the subway. However, researchers found that it's not the weed that directly causes panic, but rather that it makes you more vulnerable to the onset of panic. The study: Oxford University researchers administered intravenous injections to 121 participants who had all recently experienced paranoia. Two thirds received a dose of THC and the remaining third received a placebo.
The participants were then placed in a real-life situation — the hospital cafeteria — and a calm situation depicted in a virtual reality headset. Half of the real THC group felt elevated levels of anxiety and panic in both settings. In the placebo group, only a third felt such effects. Being high makes people more prone to becoming paranoid, but as the lead researcher puts it, "More importantly, it shines a light on the way our mind encourages paranoia. Paranoia is likely to occur when we are worried, think negatively about ourselves, and experience unsettling changes in our perceptions." When one is high, the changes in perception can lead to a state of disorientation, opening the way to panic and paranoid thoughts. If one feels self-conscious or anxious prior to getting high, then the high will make paranoia more likely to occur.
Clarifying the lore. It's common knowledge that the high from cannabis can generate some level of paranoia in some people, and consuming too much at once can lead to a panic episode. This study demonstrates that those feelings are a direct reaction to the unexpected nature of altered perception, and that a person manifests their own paranoia due to a state of disorientation. The report says that, in a normal state, "Many people have a few paranoid ideas, and a few people have many." Based on your existing vulnerability to paranoia, being high can exacerbate your tendency to feeling paranoid. A number of studies on cannabis over the past few decades cite paranoia as a side effect, including studies of its psychiatric effects, its dangers, and its medical uses, but none of them have discovered how much our own state of mind plays a part. Now we can confirm that if you smoke weed and start getting paranoid, it may well be your own state of mind.

Can Alcohol Kill You?—Let’s Count the Ways

According to the World Health organisation, alcohol kills more than 3 million people worldwide each year, which translates to one person every 10 seconds. That’s more than the amount of people lost to AIDS, tuberculosis, and violence. The statistic includes alcohol-related driving fatalities, violence, and health issues arising from excessive alcohol consumption. Because alcohol is legal in most countries, and because—especially in the US and western culture in general—it is promoted in advertising and glamorised in film, its dangers are often minimised or disregarded by young people, and the warnings about problem-drinking and its consequences are viewed as the admonitions of uptight grownups. Unfortunately, the facts support the admonitions. So, how can alcohol kill you?
Here are a few ways it can—and does—end lives: Drunk driving accounted for ten thousand deaths in 2010—that was over thirty percent of all traffic fatalities. Acute alcohol poisoning kills over one thousand people each year. Nearly sixteen thousand people died in 2010 from alcohol-induced liver disease. Over fifty percent of people who die in fires have high blood-alcohol levels. One quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol related. Unintentional injuries related to alcohol consumption cause over eighteen hundred deaths each year among college students. Health problems, including increased likelihood of stroke, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, oesophageal cancer, and compromised immune system can lead, if untreated, to premature death. Alcohol in combination with other drugs, especially pain medications, tranquillisers, and sleep medications, can cause death by slowing down respiration as well as by causing the aspiration of vomit. The simple fact is that alcohol impairs judgment, cognition, inhibitions regarding excessive risk-taking and acting out of aggressive tendencies, and other faculties that reduce the likelihood of accident or death. If alcohol consumption becomes regular, increases over time, or increases in amount, or if consequences of drinking are accumulating, treatment is indicated, because yes, alcohol can kill you. 

Spain's Catalonia region to push ahead with burka ban following EU ruling

A burka ban will be brought in by the government of Spain’s Catalonia region in the wake of a European Court of Human Rights ruling that banning veils does not breach human rights laws. Ramon Espadaler, Interior Minister for Catalonia, said that the ban, first proposed in 2013, was in no way an attack on religious freedom as the wearing of helmets and masks in public will also be forbidden. Espadaler announced that the Catalan government aimed to get the ban approved after the summer 2014 recess

Revolutionary Addiction Treatment Methods to Be Shared in Live Seminar and New Book

Mind & Body Treatment and Research Institute is sharing its remarkable new methods for addiction treatment in an upcoming conference, July 12th in San Diego. Those who can't attend the "Face Your Addiction and Save Your Life Conference" can still benefit from Dr. Keerthy Sunder's treatment expertise, through a conference recording that will be available online, as well as Dr. Sunder's new book, "Addictions: Face Your Addiction & Save Your Life." Those who are personally struggling with addiction and friends and family of addicts are invited to attend in person or online after the conference. The conference will take place from 11 AM – 1 PM, Saturday, July 12th in San Diego at the Porto Vista Hotel in the Costa del Sol Meeting Room. A luncheon for registrants will be held at 1 PM. To register, visit The conference recording will be made available on the Mind & Body Treatment and Research Institute website. From years of helping addicts, Dr. Sunder has developed strategies for addicts and their families to beat addiction for good, defying the alarming relapse statistics. He looks forward to sharing these tools and techniques at the seminar. Not only will participants learn how an individual's genetics make them vulnerable to addiction, they'll learn about dual diagnosis and about addiction's ability to alter someone's brain.

The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels.

The important thing with serotonin, is to keep it at steady levels. The medicines that raise the level of serotonin in the brain do so by slowing the reabsorbtion of serotonin. The alcohol increases the availible serotonin for a bit and then it drops off quickly, leaving the depressed person feeling worse, and they tend to not take the medicine correctly when they feel badly or are drunk. High serotonin levels do not mean somebody will feel happy or good, It makes it more likely that they won't feel realy bad.

It isn’t necessary to take a strictly spiritual view in order to recognize the existence of some kind of power higher than the self.

William Bateson
William Bateson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 The higher power referred to in A.A. may simply turn out to be the complex dynamics of directed group interaction, i.e., the group as a whole. It is a recognition of holistic processes beyond a single individual—the power of the many over and against the power of one. Sometimes that form of submission can be healthy. Addicts seem to benefit from being in a room with people who understand what they have been through, and the changes they are now facing. It is useful to know that they are not alone in this. “The unit of survival—either in ethics or in evolution—is not the organism or the species,” wrote Bateson, “but the largest system or ‘power’ within which the creature lives.” In behavioral terms, A.A. enshrines this sophisticated understanding as a first principle.

Hitting bottom may come in the form of a wrecked car, a wrecked marriage, a jail term, or simple the inexorable buildup of the solo burden of drug-seeking behavior.

Illegal Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse
Illegal Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse (Photo credit:

 While the intrinsically spiritual component of the A.A. program would seem to be inconsistent with the emerging biochemical models of addiction, recall that A.A.’s basic premise has always been that alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases of the body and obsessions of the mind.
When the shocking moment arrives, and the addict hits bottom, he or she enters a “sweetly reasonable” and “softened up” state of mind, as A.A. founder Bill Wilson expressed it. Arnold Ludwig calls this the state of “therapeutic surrender.” It is crucial to everything that follows. It is the stage in their lives when addicts are prepared to consider, if only as a highly disturbing hypothesis, that they have become powerless over their use of addictive drugs. In that sense, their lives have become unmanageable. They have lost control.

Emotional eating is when people use food as a way to deal with feelings instead of to satisfy hunger. We've all been there, finishing a whole bag of chips out of boredom or downing cookie after cookie while cramming for a big test. But when done a lot — especially without realizing it — emotional eating can affect weight, health, and overall well-being.

diets arent the answer emotional eating

Not many of us make the connection between eating and our feelings. But understanding what drives emotional eating can help people take steps to change it.

One of the biggest myths about emotional eating is that it's prompted by negative feelings. Yes, people often turn to food when they're stressed out, lonely, sad, anxious, or bored. But emotional eating can be linked to positive feelings too, like the romance of sharing dessert on Valentine's Day or the celebration of a holiday feast.

Sometimes emotional eating is tied to major life events, like a death or a divorce. More often, though, it's the countless little daily stresses that cause someone to seek comfort or distraction in food.

Emotional eating patterns can be learned: A child who is given candy after a big achievement may grow up using candy as a reward for a job well done. A kid who is given cookies as a way to stop crying may learn to link cookies with comfort.

It's not easy to "unlearn" patterns of emotional eating. But it is possible. And it starts with an awareness of what's going on.



You may be lost in the addiction to busyness if…

  • Your usual response to “how are you?” is “so busy”, “crazy busy” or “busy but good”
  • You spend time worrying about how busy you are going to be tomorrow
  • You get angry when your spouse or friends aren’t as busy as you
  • Your busy life keeps you up at night thinking about everything you didn’t get done
  • You make a point of letting people know that you stay at the office after hours
  • You check email several times a day
  • You zone out during conversations thinking about everything you have to do
  • You volunteer for things you don’t care about
  • You spend time complaining about how busy you are
  • You make list after list to make sure you don’t forget anything during your busy day
  • You allocate time each day to clean your desk or organize your stuff
  • You regularly eat in your car
  • You use a phone in the car because “it’s the only time you have to talk”

Griselda Blanco, gunned down in Medellin, Colombia Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown

Florida Department of Corrections

Griselda Blanco in 2004.

The convicted Colombian drug smuggler known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Griselda Blanco, 69, was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assassin in Medellin, Colombian national police confirmed late Monday, according to the Miami Herald.

Blanco spent nearly 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and three murders before being deported to Colombia in 2004, the Herald reported.

Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown, and one shot her twice in the head, the Herald reported, citing a report in El Colombiano newspaper.

Family members said Blanco had cut her ties to organized crime after returning to her country, the BBC reported. Police said they were investigating the motive.

Blanco was one of the first to engage in large-scale smuggling of cocaine into the United States from Colombia and set up many of the routes used by the Medellin cartel after she was sentenced in the United States in 1985, the BBC reported.

Investigators told the Herald that they estimate conservatively that Blanco was behind about 40 slayings. She was convicted in connection with three murders: Arranging the killing of two South Miami drug dealers who had not paid for a delivery, and ordering the assassination of a former enforcer for her organization, an operation that resulted in the death of the target’s 2-year-old son, the Herald reported.

Three of Blanco’s husbands were killed in violence related to drugs, the Herald reported, and one of her sons was named Michael Corleone, a reference to “The Godfather” movies.

Blanco is credited with originating motorcycle assassinations, the Herald reported.

“This is classic live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword,” filmmaker Billy Corben, who with Alfred Spellman made two “Cocaine Cowboys” documentaries, told the Herald. “Or in this case, live-by-the-motorcycle-assassin, die-by-the-motorcycle assassin.”

Marbella Forest Fire

Dream Warriors Testament: PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM Flash News best selling new addiction book

Dream Warriors Testament:PART 1 ROCK BOTTOM 

Dream Warriors testament, Arriving at a time in my life after thirty years of not drinking to leave an honest account of what it was like, my experience the good and the bad, the addictions of which alcohol was but one, the spiritual experiences and the formation of my personal program.The founding of Narcotics Anonymous in Spain.The trails and tribulations of the battles and failures with the ego.Many people need to remain anonymous within my journal and many may see there rolls differently.The writing is by a dyslexic this is not an excuse but a fact.Without the help of AA,NA,CA,ALANON,OA,SA and CODA this story would have not been possible.Many Angels have appeared in my life and I acknowledge you all.My sponsor and authentic founder of NA Spain remains my confident and long term friend.This person without any thought of reward spent endless time supporting me threw the early years of recovery  and whom I will be eternally grateful.


Now cast your mind back thirty years.A hopeless drunk is staggering our of a nightclub set in an area known as over the border in a North East English town. The street lights  shimmering off the tarmac rushed towards me as I crumpled into unconsciosness My semicomatse head bouncing off the granite curbstones feeling like a gentle caress. Blackout, oblivion was where my advanced alcoholism always took me. The promise of a wonderous adventure filled illusions had long since disappeared.The idea that I could handle alcohol or drugs had seemed irrelevant the inevitability of my condition overcame me I dimmely felt hands rifleing threw my pockets. Hopelessly drunk I was incapable of doing anything even my bodily functions now took care of themselves. Death, whatever that was, would have been welcomed as yet another phase of insane bingeing ran its course.By know I was starting to understand that once I drank I had no control over the outcome.All the excuses had been used up and I was in utter bewilderment as to why my longtime friend alcohol had turned on me.Where had my friends disappeared to and the conviviality of there happy company.

The answer crashed into my befuddled brain I had used up all there excuses as well as mine and had become the unfunny court jester who continuosly embarrassed them with drunken brawling heaping abuse onto those closest to me as the full reality of my condition became apparent to them all.The witty raconteaur had become the stinking drunk,bloated vomiting and unfunny.In reality I sorted out dark places where people like me sort the company of like minded others.The illegal blues clubs and shebeens the drinking dens for prostitutes and criminals.I could not resist the call to visit once I had, had that first drink.It did not matter what it was for I had long since recognised that if it was a weak shandy or a double whisky the results would be exactly the same.It came as no surprise to be lying in the gutter blacked out.

What did come as a surprise was to be sitting in the back of a taxicab.What had happened had I met with a good Samaritan for they where a rareity in this area of dockland.I was over the years after this to try many times to attempt to rationalise this answer out. Had some golden lady of the night rescued me doubtful but possible or a kindly taxi driver even more improbable.Yet here I was being dropped off outside my front door in a small suburban village.My eyes fearfully scanned the street for what had become the inevitable results of my binges a police car.I thanked the taxi driver and searched for my keys.No police car but now the guilt and remorse the terrible psychical withdrawal from alcohol gripped my being. I must have another drink as my skin started crawling and the stomach wrenching vomit reflex took hold.

It was at this time I recognised that all the lights were on yet there was no one in the house.I stopped I glanced at the red flock wallpaper with the glistening remains of the whisky glass catching the evidential reflection of the lights.Yes this was the right house.There was the drinks cupboard it was open nothing remained. Panic,fear my head whirled a neon red sign shown in my head NO DRINK.No drink nothing.I heard a car drive up my car, my wife.I needed to get what was left of the brain into gear.I wracked my brain for a solution something that would work something that would give one more drink anything.She was on the path give me an idea any idea nothing. The withdrawls were kicking in the shakeing was starting with the first tremors my fingers twitched as the withdrawls started.Its just a hangover.You used the magic word that would start the withdrawl HANGOVER. I didn’t do hangovers anymore I just got sick very sick very quickly.How the hell was I to get a drink I must have a drink.I needed a solution fast any solution.

During experiments on the axons of the Woods Hole squid (loligo pealei), we tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid's chromatophores.


 The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido of Roger Hanlon's Lab in the Marine Resource Center of the Marine Biological Labs helped us with the preparation. You can read their latest paper at:

Addiction Books For relaxation When 50 Shades of Grey doesn’t cut it.

The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment 

Carlton K. Erickson
312 pages 
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company (2007)

Amazon Overview: Neuroscience is clarifying the causes of compulsive alcohol and drug use––while also shedding light on what addiction is, what it is not, and how it can best be treated––in exciting and innovative ways. Current neurobiological research complements and enhances the approaches to addiction traditionally taken in social work and psychology. However, this important research is generally not presented in a forthright, jargon-free way that clearly illustrates its relevance to addiction professionals. In The Science of Addiction, Carlton K. Erickson presents a comprehensive overview of the roles that brain function and genetics play in addiction.

The Addiction Solution: Unraveling the Mysteries of Addiction through Cutting-Edge Brain Science

David Kipper and Steven Whitney
304 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books (2010)

For decades addiction has been viewed and treated as a social and behavioral illness, afflicting people of “weak” character and “bad” moral fiber. However, recent breakthroughs in genetic technology have enabled doctors, for the first time, to correctly diagnose the disease and prove that addiction is an inherited, neuro-chemical disease originating in brain chemistry, determined by genetics, and triggered by stress. In their groundbreaking Addiction Breakthrough, David Kipper, MD, and Steven Whitney distill these exciting findings into a guide for the millions of adults who want to be free from the cycle of addiction, and for their loved ones who want to better understand it and to help.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

Gabor Maté
520 pages 
Publisher: North Atlantic Books (2010) 

Based on Gabor Maté’s two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver’s skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction. Simplifying a wide array of brain and addiction research findings from around the globe, the book avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting a thorough and compassionate self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness. 

Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs 

Marc Lewis
336 pages 
Publisher: PublicAffairs (2012)

Marc Lewis’s relationship with drugs began in a New England boarding school where, as a bullied and homesick fifteen-year-old, he made brief escapes from reality by way of cough medicine, alcohol, and marijuana. In Berkeley, California, in its hippie heyday, he found methamphetamine and LSD and heroin. He sniffed nitrous oxide in Malaysia and frequented Calcutta’s opium dens. Ultimately, though, his journey took him where it takes most addicts: into a life of addiction, desperation, deception, and crime. But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered and became a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind.

The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction

Dirk Hanson
472 pages 
Publisher: BookSurge (2009)

A book for anyone concerned with the care and healing of addiction, substance abuse, and the latest advances in the area of addiction science. In The Chemical Carousel, science writer Hanson takes the reader on a voyage through the heady world of addiction science, from the lab to the clinic to the junky on the street. Hanson explains the workings of common neurotransmitters and documents the direct effect drugs and alcohol produce on the reward pathways of the brain. He shows how scientists and treatment professionals have finally given us an answer to the perennial question about addiction: Why can't those people just say no?

An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug, Cocaine

Howard Markel
336 pages 
Publisher: Vintage (2012)

Acclaimed medical historian Howard Markel traces the careers of two brilliant young doctors--Sigmund Freud, neurologist, and William Halsted, surgeon--showing how their powerful addictions to cocaine shaped their enormous contributions to psychology and medicine. When Freud and Halsted began their experiments with cocaine in the 1880s, neither they, nor their colleagues, had any idea of the drug's potential to dominate and endanger their lives. An Anatomy of Addiction tells the tragic and heroic story of each man, accidentally struck down in his prime by an insidious malady: tragic because of the time, relationships, and health cocaine forced each to squander; heroic in the intense battle each man waged to overcome his affliction.

How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol

Kenneth Anderson
86 pages 
Publisher: CreateSpace (2010)

This book is the first comprehensive compilation of harm reduction strategies aimed specifically at people who drink alcohol. Whether your goal is safer drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting alcohol altogether, this is the book for you. It contains a large and detailed selection of harm reduction tools and strategies which you can choose from to build your own individualized alcohol harm reduction program. There are many practical exercises to help people change their behaviors, including risk-ranking worksheets, drinking charts, goal choice worksheets, and many more. There are also innumerable practical tips from folks who "have been there" and have turned their drinking habits around for the better. 

Rethinking Substance Abuse: What the Science Shows, and What We Should Do about It

William R. Miller and Kathleen M. Carroll
320 pages 
Publisher: Guilford Press (2010) 

While knowledge on substance abuse and addictions is expanding rapidly, clinical practice still lags behind. This state-of-the-art book brings together leading experts to describe what treatment and prevention would look like if it were based on the best science available. The volume incorporates developmental, neurobiological, genetic, behavioral, and social–environmental perspectives. Tightly edited chapters summarize current thinking on the nature and causes of alcohol and other drug problems; discuss what works at the individual, family, and societal levels; and offer robust principles for developing more effective treatments and services.

Writers On The Edge: 22 Writers Speak About Addiction and Dependency

Diana Raab and James Brown
204 pages
Publisher: Modern History Press (2012)

Writers On The Edge offers a range of essays, memoirs and poetry written by major contemporary authors who bring fresh insight into the dark world of addiction, from drugs and alcohol, to sex, gambling and food. Editors Diana M. Raab and James Brown have assembled an array of talented and courageous writers who share their stories with heartbreaking honesty as they share their obsessions as well as the awe-inspiring power of hope and redemption. Frederick & Steven Barthelme, Kera Bolonik, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Maud Casey, Anna David, Denise Duhamel, B.H. Fairchild, Ruth Fowler, David Huddle Perie Longo, Gregory Orr, Victoria Patterson, Molly Peacock, Scott Russell Sanders, Stephen Jay Schwartz, Linda Gray Sexton, Sue William Silverman, Chase Twichell, and Rachel Yoder


It happens every time. Without fail. Without exception. I bet it's happened to you also. Just think about it. How often has your god failed you? Every single time. Every single time I have turned a human being into a god, or turned something man-made into an idol, or placed my trust, expectation, hope, and confidence in anything else but the one true God, my god has failed me. Some people are slow learners. I am one of them. I have made the same mistake countless times. And every single time, that's right, you've got it. It happens every time. Maybe I should be more careful when I place my trust, expectation, hope, and confidence in a human being. Maybe I should be more choosy with the human I choose. Not so. No matter the human, the same outcome will arise. My god will fail me. I did it again recently. I made the same mistake. But my mistake wasn't the human I chose. My mistake was the choice I made to pick a human. And guess what happened? You guessed it. My god failed me. But how can this happen, time and again? Easily. First, it happens when I fail to remember when I need not to forget. Never, ever, place what belongs to God in heaven in the hands of a human. My love and trust, my loyalty and faithfulness, my belief and confidence, my hope and expectation, must be placed in the Lord first and foremost, above all and everyone else - whether it be someone or something else, or whether it be myself. Second, it happens not because I forget, but because I don't realize and recognize what I have done. Hard habits sometimes die slowly, don't they? And slow habits die hard. It has been a hard lesson for me, and I have to be vigilant to ensure I don't unconsciously do what I have so often done. So what is the outcome of this all? My gods fail me. Every human I have ever made into a god, every person or thing I have ever turned into an idol, the result has always been the same. My false gods have failed me, hurt me, let me down, forsaken me, abandoned me, rejected me, broken me, fallen short, messed up, and a zillion other things. Seriously? Yes. Will the real God please stand up?

Researchers completing a new study on alcohol consumption have discovered that college-age students who binge drink are happier than those who don't.


Those who engaged in binge drinking tend to belong to so-called high-status groups: wealthy, white, male and active in fraternity life. And those who did not belong to the high-status groups could achieve similar levels of social acceptance through the act of binge drinking. In fact, the study results suggest that students engaged in the heavy drinking practice to elevate their social status amongst peers rather than to alleviate depression or anxiety.

"The present study offers another insight into the nature of a seemingly intractable social problem," the study released on Monday reads. "It is our hope that by drawing attention to the important social motivations underlying binge drinking, institutional administrators and public health professionals will be able to design and implement programs for students that take into account the full range of reasons that students binge drink."

The Washington Post reports that the study's co-author and Colgate University associate professor Carolyn Hsu presented some of the findings during the American Sociological Association gathering in Denver last week.

Interestingly, the study results compiled from surveying 1,600 college students also continues to support past evidence suggesting that binge drinking leads to a number of problems affecting the mind and body, including alcoholism, violence, poor grades and risky sexual behavior.

"I would guess it has to do with feeling like you belong and whether or not you're doing what a 'real' college student does," Hsu told LiveScience. "It seems to be more about certain groups getting to define what that looks like."

Binge drinking was defined as consuming more than four drinks in one occasion for women and more than five drinks for men. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they had engaged in the practice, compared with 36 percent who said they had not.

Those statistics differ from similar evidence gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's statistics measure binge drinking in the same quantity but limit the consumption period to two hours or fewer. Its results also found that the majority of binge drinkers (70 percent) were over the age of 26. The CDC has also found that 90 percent of alcohol consumed by people under the age of 21 is done in the form of binge drinking, compared with 75 percent among all U.S. adults.

The Five Keys to Mindful Communication

The first key of mindful communication, according to Chapman (2012), is having amindful presence. This means having an open mind, awake body and a tender heart. When you have a mindful presence, you give up expectations, stories about yourself and others, and acting on emotions.

You are fully in the present moment; your communication isn’t focused on the “me” and what the “me” needs, but the we.

Mindful listening is the second key to mindful communication. Mindful listening is about encouraging the other person. This means looking through the masks and pretense and seeing the value in the person and the strengths he or she possesses. It’s looking past the human frailties and flaws that we all have to see the authentic person and the truth in what that person is attempting to say.

Mindful speech, the third key, is about gentleness. Speaking gently means being effective in what you say. It’s about speaking in a way that you can be hard. To be gentle with our speech means being aware of when our own insecurities and fears are aroused to the point we are acting out of fear rather than acceptance.

Practicing self-compassion for our fear, envy, jealousy and self-doubts is more effective than focusing on others as being a threat or attempting to change them. When you use gentle speech, you are communicating acceptance to the other person and saying what is true, not an interpretation or an exaggeration or a minimization.

The key to mindful relationships is unconditional friendliness. Unconditional friendliness means accepting the ebb and flow of relationships. Sometimes you meet new friends, sometimes friends move on, sometimes there is joy and sometimes there is pain. Sometimes you’ll feel lonely, sometimes you’ll feel cherished and connected, and then you’ll feel lonely again.

Unconditional friendliness means that your acceptance of others is not dependent on them staying with you or agreeing with you. You don’t cling to relationships to avoid loss.

Mindful responsiveness is like playfulness.  Playfulness is the openness that you can have when you let go of preconceived ideas and strategies. It’s like creating something new. Imagine two skilled dancers who alternatively lead each other in creating a new dance in every interaction, never doing the same complete dance over and over. They respond in the moment to the message sent by the other. There are no rules or expectations and yet they both bring skillful behavior.

Mindful communication requires practice. If you choose to practice the keys, you might choose to focus on one at a time. Being willing to regulate your emotions is a prerequisite to mindful communication and mindfulness of your emotions is necessary for emotion regulation.

Mindfulness is a core skill for the emotionally sensitive.



Chapman, Susan Gillis. The Five Keys to Mindful Communication:  Using Deep Listening and Mindful Speech to Strengthen Relationships, Heal Conflicts and Acceomplish Your Goals. Boston: Shambhala, 2012.

ADDICTION charity Focus12 has received a huge financial boost after a codumentary about Russell Brand was shown last night.

The documentary Russell Brand: Addiction to Recovery resulted in an immediate boost in donations and inspired the managing director of Bury St Edmunds based Chevington Finance and Leasing to offer the charity £106,000 over three years.

Russell Brand attended Focus12, the Bury St Edmunds abstinence-based alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre, in 2003 and is now a patron of the charity, describing it as ‘a really excellent example of a small cost effective rehab that can help people change in dramatic ways’.

Chip Somers, Focus12’s chief executive, said: “Russell’s documentary and his work this year to raise the profile of abstinence based recovery has got people talking about addiction in a different way, and made them realise that there is a viable alternative to simply giving up on addicts, or parking them on methadone.

“We are blown away by the generosity of Chevington — this financial support will make a huge difference to us as a charity and will certainly mean we can continue to stay open and help those who need us for longer. Raising funds for a recovery charity has never been harder than it is at present, every day is literally a struggle to keep afloat and we are very grateful.”

Clive Morris, Managing Director of Chevington Finance and Leasing said: “My wife and I were incredibly touched by last night’s documentary, which inspired us to endorse the local treatment centre Focus12, and we have today agreed funding assistance for the charity of £106,000 over the next 4 years.

“We believe that as a successful, responsible and reliable company we have a duty to help local charities survive this recession and the work that Chip Somers and his team do is fantastic and we fully endorse their abstinence based programme and have seen what a difference it makes to people’s lives.”


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